The word sprung out of Zayn’s throat the moment he caught her silhouette. His eyes began to water.
In the past, hearing his voice would have made her spin on her heels and lurch straight into his arms, crying and laughing as they shared a loving embrace.
However, she did none of that. She simply remained kneeling on the floor, unmoving.
Zayn’s sudden appearance startled the other nuns. They glared at him disapprovingly, their features sharpened by hints of anger for disrupting their erstwhile silence.
One of them was quick to remove him. Unsurprisingly, they did not look very happy, a boorish layperson who had barged into their serene cloister with his barbaric screams. “Sir, you should not be here. You’re trespassing on our sacred ground. It is an area that is barred from public entry! Please, leave!”
More nuns began to pour into the space, all of them just as displeased. It was simply unbecoming of Zayn to crash their latest member’s tonsure rite.
One of them raised her voice and chided sternly, “Sir, your wife is absent from Miao Xuan Temple. Please do not cause any disruptions, leave us be.”
There was a good reason for their hostility. Miao Xuan Temple had always been isolated from the quagmire of the wider world, and for years, they were left to practice their monastic lifestyle in peace.
That aforementioned serenity had now been shattered by a man who decided to trespass supposedly private property. It felt like he had just sullied the sanctity of their practice.
Zayn could not care less about what they thought, though. All he saw was the petite silhouette in the distance. The love of his life… and his wife.
“Fifi, it’s me! I’m back! I’m not dead; I’m back in one piece, alive! Please, would you just look at me?!” Zayn called out as tidal waves of affection coursed through his veins.
He had done so much for her to live, and despite having succeeded, she was ready to leave it all behind to become a nun. It was the very last thing he wanted!
He could not stop himself from advancing towards her. He could not contain the raging desire he had to pull her into his arms and hold her tight. He wanted her to resonate with every shred of emotion he had.
“No! Stand back, get away from her!” Another nun blocked his path so that Zayn could not see her at all.
How could he stop when he had finally found Faye?
N0. His pace never once slowed down. He strode onwards, determined to stand in front of her and awaken her memory of him.
“I’m warning you for the last time, sir. Stop where you are… or do not blame us for what is about to unfold!” One of the senior nuns declared, and instantly, all the nuns in the prayer hall surrounded him.
They fixed the young man with a wary look, as though they were ready for combat. One more step from Zayn, and they would initiate combat!
Zayn finally stopped in his tracks. He might have been impassioned at the sight of his beloved wife, but his rationality did not abandon him completely just yet.
These nuns were women who had left their comfort and material lives to pursue enlightenment, he realized, and it would be a shame if he hurt them.
Still, he was not going to give up, not when Faye was so close.
Taking a deep breath, he pressed his palms together and finally answered them formally, “All Venerables, I am Zayn Larson. I’m just an ordinary man from the outside world who came here to bring my wife back home. I have no intention of sullying or disturbing Miao Xuan Temple or its peace. Please, let me through.”
The senior nuns watched him carefully. He did not seem as boorish as they thought, not at all a thug who came to the temple to cause destruction. It caused their steely features to soften.
One of the elderly nuns took a step forward and replied, “Still, we beseech you to leave right now. As you can see, we’re performing a tonsure rite to attune our latest member, the sacredness and importance of the rite could not be understated.”
“You may visit us again tomorrow morning, and we’ll gladly help you with your plight.”